Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Don't Compare me to Peanut Brittle!

"Try Counting This"
I am Reading Dr Berntein's Diabetes Solution for the Second time in the last 4 months. I read the term "Brittle Diabetes" and thought, interesting, I don't hear that very often anymore.

Now in the book he was just discussing the terminology used in the last few decades to classify the different types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2, then IDDM(Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mullitis) NIDDM (Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mullitis) LADA, and he briefly mentions the old "brittle diabetes"

It got me thinking, I used to hear this term all the time.  "Oh you are taking multiple shots per day and have to test often, you must be a brittle diabetic"  Must say I haven't heard it in a while.

Which is good, since it used to leave me feeling, well, for lack of a better word, "Emotionally Brittle"

I'd think to myself, Brittle, I am no such thing, but I'd also question and overly reflect on the "Brittle" statement, and as a result, it'd make me feel a little sad. 

The actual definition of "Brittle" according to is the following:

a. Likely to break, snap, or crack, as when subjected to pressure: brittle bones.
b. Easily damaged or disrupted; fragile; a brittle friendship. See Synonyms at fragile
a. Difficult to deal with; snappish: a brittle disposition.
b. Lacking warmth of feeling; cold: a reputation for being brittle and aloof.
3. Brilliantly sharp, as in percussive sound.
a. Perishable.
b. Fleeting; transitory.
I have never viewed myself or any other PWD in any way as the above definition would depict.

I think if one chooses not to accept the disease, emotionally, that person is slightly more likely to damage themselves, but to loosely throw the term "Brittle" around (which isn't done anymore) is a poor depiction of an insulin dependent type 1 diabetic.

I am glad times have changed, but perceptions still exist.

I have often felt more health conscious as a result of my diabetes. More in tune with the signals our gift(body) sends us. As a result, I felt stronger and in better physical shape then a lot of my friends, and relatives. I have never once considered my self breakable, perhaps a little "Snappish" on occasion.

I know the term was meant to describe the persistent fleeting fluctuations and difficulties presented in treating labile or hard to manage blood glucose levels.

But this is the problem with judgement terminology, like "Brittle" it conjures up a mental picture and thus leaves an impression.

Things are not that simple, and the more we learn the better we understand diabetes, and not just view it as a type, or poorly controlled, brittle, or any other injurious term that limits understanding.